My apologies for failing to post much over the past two weeks. I've been distracted by a pretty wild ride regarding my personal health. I went in for an angiogram late last week, which is a pretty nifty procedure to witness once you get over the fact that they're running wire up a main artery to your heart. The good news is that my heart is just fine. The bad news is that I've been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes...ah, chocolate cake, I knew thee well. Anyway, now the hubub is all done and I'm in the process of climbing back into the saddle, so let's catch up up with a little this and a little that:
- Oracle's acquisition of Skywire is pretty interesting. My guess, for what it's worth, is that they'll combine Skywire with the recently acquired AdminServer to offer up a complete software suite for the insurance industry. In the long run, I think this will be a big development.
- Oracle's Q4 results seem pretty impressive. However, with the changes in company structure and product lines, it's hard to tell what's happening on a year-over-year basis (or even quarter-over-quarter, for that matter). Nevertheless, Oracle's strategy of building market share through acquisitions (based on a view that the business IT market has matured to the point of minimal or no growth) seems to be working very well.
- The development of Fusion Applications seems to be rolling along. During a recent Diazepam-induced stupor (read that first paragraph again and you'll get the context), I recalled Oracle's Steve Miranda commenting during Collaborate 08 that Fusion Apps will first roll out with availability limited to specific types of customers, with general availability coming later (I'm sure Steve will correct me if I got that wrong...I'll just blame it on the Diazepam). I would not be surprised to hear an announcement along these lines at Oracle OpenWorld 2008; maybe limited availability by the end of the calendar year, with general availability sometime in 2009. Please keep in mind that this is mostly speculation on my part, so please don't bet the company on this concept or these dates, okay?
- Speaking of Oracle OpenWorld, I may have a different experience this year in that I may not be presenting at all (for the first time in several years). I have a presentation proposal up on Oracle Mix called "Fusion On A Shoestring", but it doesn't look as though it will garner enough votes to make the cut. In any event, I find myself actually looking forward to the possibility of attending as a non-presenter. I've gotten a little complacent about how I structure my OOW experience in the past few years, so attending as a non-presenter will force me to "up my game" by engaging in the conference in ways that are new for me (like finally meeting Tim Dexter face-to-face). So I'm pretty excited about the upcoming conference, even though it's still a few months away. We'll be talking about what looks good to me at OOW 2008 as soon as the schedule firms up a bit.
- Got a real kick out of reading Jake's "We Heart Hackers" post. I've recently had the chance to do some database development work in PL/SQL myself. It was kind of like watch reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation - you just don't realize how much you miss it until you pick it up again. It's been a long time since I used PL/SQL, so my skills were a bit rusty...but, like riding a bike, it came back to me pretty quickly. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy working with PL/SQL.
- I've also had the recent chance to get involved in extending the E-Business Suite using Fusion Middleware components. In fact, I'm managing a project now that may include using the SOA Suite to expose EBS APIs as services in support of a BPEL-based project solution. This is stuff we probably could not have done well three or four years ago. It's pretty exciting just to see how far things have come and how easy it is to get started.